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Four Injured After Elevator Falls in Gold Coast Parking Garage

By  Alex Parker  and Kyla Gardner | May 17, 2013 3:47pm | Updated on May 17, 2013 9:22pm

 Four people suffered non-life threatening injuries when an elevator fell from the 15th floor to the 10th about 3 p.m. Friday in a building at 60 E. Delaware Place, officials said.
Elevevator Fall
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CHICAGO — Four people were injured Friday when an elevator fell five stories in a Gold Coast parking garage.

Fire officials said the occupied elevator fell from the 15th floor to the 10th floor at 60 E. Delaware Place.

Maureen Downs, 25, walked up to find four ambulances, two fire trucks and "a ton" of police cars outside the building where she works in human resources.

Downs saw two women and one man, who all looked to be middle-aged, carried into ambulances on stretchers.

Four people suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, fire officials said. Two were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and two were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Center, all in stable condition.

The 15th floor of the building houses 900 North Michigan Surgical Center, and the 10th floor accesses a level of a parking garage.

Fire officials called the incident an "elevator malfunction." Building management declined to comment.

A Chicago Fire Department official on the scene said such incidents are rare.

"I'm not worried about riding the elevator. We've never had a problem with it," said a man who works in the building's facilities maintenance department and declined to give his name. "They do maintenance on it once a month."

The elevator that fell appeared to be out of service Friday night. Notices posted in the other three cars indicated they had last been inspected in July 2012.

"You never think about that," Downs said, riding down from the eighth floor to the first Friday evening. "It's scary."

But the Mt. Greenwood resident said the incident would be far from her mind by Monday, as she rides the elevator four to five times a day.

A resident who lives just east of the building said it was "shocking" the elevator malfunctioned in "a building of this stature in this part of the city."

The resident, who asked only to be identified as David, said he was in an elevator that fell two floors in a 28-story building in Miami. Though the elevator just "dipped," he said it was "a terrifying experience."

"It's like...when a plane hits an air pocket," he said. "You wonder for a few seconds if this is it."